England coach Steve McNamara weighs up captaincy options, including Kevin Sinfield, Adrian Morley and Sean O'Loughlin
Last Updated: October 8, 2012 4:33pm
Steve McNamara: unable to consider Sam Burgess, James Graham or Jon Wilkin for captaincy role for the autumn
England coach Steve McNamara admits he is not short on options when it comes to picking a new captain for the autumn internationals.
McNamara will decide who will succeed the now-retired Jamie Peacock as skipper during a high-altitude training camp in South Africa, though he has has been forced to rule Sam Burgess and James Graham out of contention.
Rabbitohs forward Burgess is to undergo knee surgery in the NRL off-season while Canterbury prop Graham is serving a 12-match suspension for biting during his side's Grand Final defeat to Melbourne.
"They are both strong leaders and very influential members of our squad," the former Bradford boss said of the absent duo. "But we've still got plenty of strong candidates.
St Helens forward Jon Wilkin led the side for the second game against the Exiles in the summer but he is alos amongst a number of high-profile absentees for the games against Wales and France.
However, McNamara still has a trio of club captains in Kevin Sinfield (Leeds), Morley (Warrington) and Sean O'Loughlin (Wigan) in his squad, as well as experienced forward Gareth Ellis.
"We'll get together when we hit South Africa and when we address the group we'll announce it at that stage." he added.
"It's plain to see we do have some leaders in our game and most of them have been involved in the play-off series."
Sam Tomkins is also an option for McNamara, though Super League's newly-crowned Man of Steel remains doubtful for England's opening game against Wales on October 27.
The Wigan full-back is still struggling with a knee injury but was adamant about making the trip to South Africa to be part of the squad.
"If we were playing this weekend, he wouldn't be fit to play, but we've got 10 days out there and a little more time when we come back," McNamara said.
"He's a vital member of our group and I'm really impressed by his attitude and his desire to be a part of this group. It's really telling how enthusiastic he is towards this camp."